Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Objective Rack - Mark IV

Behold, the The Objective Rack - Mark IV!

This whole rack-rebuild project took most of Saturday. Thankfully everything of mine came up ok afterwards. Unfortunately a friend's server (that I've started hosting as of last weekend) didn't come up so easily. After a whole night of frantic tinkering attempts, I backed up all the data I could salvage and we reinstalled it this morning.

This is but the latest in a continual cycle I go through....
1) Build rack all nice and neat
2) Use new setup for a while
3) Gradually decide to change things over time (add new machines, remove old machines, etc.)
4) Decide that the once-elegant rack has become a mess of tangled wires and ad-hoc mounting
5) Tear it down and repeat from step 1.

As I said, this is the 4th iteration of my attempts at building a rack of computer equipment for my personal use. Here's the history in chronological order:

Mark I - Moved to an apartment in Florida, bought the rack in the process, got everything all setup. Many of my systems weren't rackmount, so I used a lot of rack-mount shelves.
Mark II - Upgraded a lot of equipment, had a lot of new stuff to mount (including an E4000 and a big RAID box), and took the desktops out of the rack. First use of the term "objective rack".
Mark III - Moved from the apartment to a house, finally had the proper mounting kit for the E4000, needed to get everything setup again.
Mark IV - Retired some of the more power-hungry equipment (E4000 and big RAID box), changed a lot of systems around, had some new equipment and cable-guide stuff to integrate.

Prior to the rack, I went through a series of wire-shelf-based setups. These began my sophomore year of college with this setup, and continued with a new iteration every academic year.

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